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There and Back Again The continuing travels of me

End of the week

JAPAN | Friday, 29 August 2008 | Views [1552] | Comments [6]

From left: Mayumi, me, Nami, Andrew, Galen and Selena

From left: Mayumi, me, Nami, Andrew, Galen and Selena

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m about to lose the internet for the weekend again, since work is still my only regular source. So what happened this week? Classes started of course, Junior High School anyway, Elementary on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon starts next week. Although in September I will miss half the classes, 4 of the 8 days are cancelled for various reasons. One of which is the Junior High School speech contest on Thursday September 4, all of the JET participants are judges.

We are also supposed to be tutoring a student from our schools in preparation for the event. I know that the others have been working with their kids for weeks, I saw mine for the first time this week. We’ve had 2 sessions of an hour each. I’ll see her again this afternoon but I’m afraid she’s horribly behind. Andrew has been working with his student for several hours a day for weeks now, I don’t have great hopes for the event, I just hope I can help my student make a decent show and not embarrass herself. This morning the three classes had English back to back, it was a bit tiring. Not that I do much, just stand around and occasionally read out some words or sentences, if I’m lucky I get to take part in a game with the students. They all know the rules and I tend to mess up though.

This afternoon I sat in on a couple of art classes, I just did what the students were doing, the first group were modeling a hand around a wire frame. They were using a really lightweight modeling clay, it was nice to have a break from reading out sentences in English. The second group are carving seals (name stamps not the furry swimming kind) from stone, so I started on that, it’ll take ages to get anywhere though.

Earlier in the week I went out for okonomiyake with some friends (see the photo). Okonomiyake, that's where you go out to dinner, they give you bowls of ingredients and you have to cook it yourself on a hot plate that takes up most of the table. All while sitting on the floor in a space designed for someone considerably shorter than 6ft.
It was a lot of fun, Galen (USA) and Andrew (Aus) are fellow JETs but the girls were all local. Mayumi lived in Brisbane for a while and speaks very good English, she leaves for a one month holiday in Brisbane today actually. Nami is speaks a little English but is studying private lessons. Selena (or Serina? Now that I think about it the accent makes it hard to tell) is blonde and European looking, she’s originally from Argentina but has lived in Japan for 11 years. Her Japanese is perfect, but she speaks practically no English at all. Naturally that made for hilarity all around.

It was good to get away from the English teaching crowd and hang out with some locals, I can see how easy it would be to develop a cocoon where you only really associate with the other foreigners, that would be pretty sad. Ok, that’s me for the week. See you later.



I imagine your legs were all cramped and crooked when you stood up from Okonomiyake! Ow - painful! Still you look relaxed and happy. Good that you can join in on art classes too - the language classes don't sound too challenging yet, and don't worry about your student and the speech contest, I'm sure she will do just fine.... Look forward to hearing the results!

  Jo Quinn Sep 1, 2008 1:13 PM


WHAT! Do you do any WORK! Its good to see you met Puffy on tour.

  Neale B Sep 3, 2008 10:55 AM


Hey I do some work, although admittedly not much compared to being ProCo. at Holmesglen.
Not that I'm complaining...yet
The thing is, talking about the repetitive nature of the classroom would be really boring for you guys, so I try to allow you to live vicariously through my glamorous jetsetting lifestyle ;p

  peter_allen Sep 3, 2008 11:41 AM


Happy birthday Pete, hope you get some sort of celebration over there, it is a big mile stone.
Enjoying looking at the site so keep it up.

Cheers Dad

   Dad Sep 5, 2008 6:18 AM



Congratulations on your 40th ..... if you wuz here we'd be eating cake! Oh what the heck, we'll eat cake anyhows! Have a great one......

  Jo Quinn Sep 5, 2008 8:16 AM


Hey Pete,
Happy yon-jūor shi-jū birthday Photos NOW!

  Neale B Sep 5, 2008 8:19 AM

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